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VIA Rail Canada posts profit, ridership growth in 2015

VIA Rail Canada Inc.'s 2015 revenue increased 6.2 percent to $297 million (in Canadian dollars) compared with the previous year, while total passenger-miles nudged up 1.7 percent year over year, the railroad announced late last week.

Last year marked the first time in seven years that the railroad logged increases in both ridership and revenue, VIA Rail officials said in a press release.

Additionally, VIA Rail earned net income of $44 million last year, compared with a net loss of $59 million in the previous year, according to the railroad's 2015 annual report.

At the same time, the railroad's requirement for government operating funding declined 11.7 percent in 2015, a decrease of $13 million compared with 2014.

"There are many reasons to be optimistic, including the focus that our government has on strengthening the Canadian economy through job-creating investments and sustainable transportation," said Eric Stefanson, VIA Rail’s outgoing interim chairman.

This year, Canadian government officials confirmed $102 million in additional capital funding for VIA Rail, Stefanson said.

"This investment will be used to improve the infrastructure VIA Rail owns, as well as services in and around the Ottawa area," he said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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